A TEENAGER with an air rifle who threatened a boy in York city centre has been locked up for a year.
Jack Alan Hunter, 19, was parked outside McDonald’s in Blake Street on October 31, waiting to pick up two friends.
As he entered the vehicle, one of the group made a racist remark about a 16-year-old Philippino boy who was with friends, York Crown Court heard.
Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said the youth had heard the insult, and challenged Hunter, who then got out of the car. The pair went “toe to toe”, before both parties were joined by friends and the situation escalated.
Hunter opened his car boot and retrieved an air rifle, which had been wrapped in a sweatshirt, and pointed it at the youth in a threatening manner.
The court heard Hunter’s friends disarmed him, and he left the scene. But a witness reported his car registration to police, who sent an armed response unit the next day to his family home, near Thirsk, where he was arrested.
Dan Cordy, representing Hunter, said the rifle had been left in the car from the previous day, when Hunter and a friend had been shooting rabbits.
He said: “This is a young man who responded inappropriately to an unfolding situation.
“He is very upset with himself for having behaved in this manner.
“He has already learned a very difficult and very hard lesson and is a young man with so much going for him that the court can pull back from custody.”
Judge Neil Clark told Hunter he was “undoubtedly a young man with a positive future”, but had reacted inappropriately to circumstances, and a custodial sentence was “inevitable” for a firearms offence.
He said: “It gives me no pleasure to have to sentence somebody such as you.”
Hunter, who pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution.